Tirreno-Adriatico 2014: preview

The route and riders in contention for the blue jersey

With less than two months until the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza in Belfast, the chief contenders for the maglia rosa will be upping their preparations at Tirreno-Adriatico.

The 49th edition of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’ has attracted a star-studded line-up, with the third WorldTour race of the season getting underway on Wednesday (March 12).

Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Alex Dowsett (Movistar) are among the Brits due on the start line, though injury means Chris Froome (Team Sky) misses out.

Vincenzo Nibali won last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico blue jersey but will not defend his title in 2014 (pic: Sirotti)

They will be joined by former Tour de France champions Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) among others, with the WorldTour’s biggest names looking to land some early hits on their rivals.

Defending champion Vicenzo Nibali (Astana) opted not to bid for a third straight win in the event, choosing Paris-Nice instead, and coupled with Froome’s absence it means the race for the blue jersey is set to be an enthralling one.

So, who will be stood atop the podium at the end of the seven-stage race? Read for our in-depth preview of the route and riders.

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